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GAME PREVIEW: Heat return home to host Blazers

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The Miami Heat look to get above .500 when they return home to host Portland.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat will return home after an extended 3-game trip that included a trip to Mexico City. The Heat (13-13) will face a Blazers team with the same record. And one that has one of the most explosive backcourts in the NBA, Lillard (26 PPG) and McCollum (21 PPG) are as good as they come. Lillard is coming off a 39 point performance against the Warriors, but the Blazers have lost five straight games.

Miami has won consecutive games and is looking for some consistency. The Heat will again be without Hassan Whiteside who is figuring out a bone bruise in his knee. This should be an exciting game to watch.

Game Info

When: Wednesday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV: Fox Sports Sun, NBALP
Win Probabilities: Miami has a 64% chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Probable Starters

Portland: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Evan Turner, Al Farouq Aminu, Meyers Leonard
Miami: Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Bam Adebayo

Injury Report

Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic (ankle, questionable), Maurice Harkless (quad, questionable)
Heat: Rodney McGruder (Out, Leg Fracture), Okaro White (Out, Foot), Hassan Whiteside (Out, Knee)

What To Watch For

How in the world will the Heat stop Damian Lillard?

Miami doesn’t really have a defensive stopped for a quick scoring and dishing guard like Lillard. He is such a talented player with the ball. If he is hitting his outside shot, he becomes unguardable. Miami may have some success with Tyler Johnson who can stick tight to a player, but it could be a long night for them if Lillard is feeling it.

Can Miami continue to shoot the ball well?

Without Whiteside the Heat are getting fewer second chance points. That means they need to have a better field goal percentage to win games. Let’s see if some home cooking helps Miami to keep shooting well.

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